Lisbon delivers after sunset too!
The last couple of nights I've been trying out the nightlife of this city, thanks to some very friendly and helpful locals. My first night out started at boutique hotel Barrio Alto hotel, and their rooftop terrace with magnificent views of the city and the river. The drinks here are way more expensive than at most other Portuguese places (10-15€ apiece), but considering that I come from Sweden and that this is a five-star hotel bar, this fact isn't something that I complain about.
Next stop was Pensão Amor. Previously a brothel, this is now supposed to be one of the better clubs in Lisbon (at least according to my guide for the night). Besides a DJ-booth and dance-floor, this venue also has a pole dance school, several exhibition spaces and a small bookstore selling vintage erotic books. We stopped by at 10pm or so, and that early the place was still somewhat quiet (the Portuguese tend to go out quite late it seems).
Next stop was Barrio Alto, the most well-known party district of Lisbon, where I had also made the mistake of booking my accommodation for the first few nights. Barrio Alto (BA for short) gets crowded around midnight, and most people tend to just grab a drink at a nearby bar, and then park themselves on the streets outside. I guess you can imagine the sound of thousands of drunk exchange student, noisy tourists and bars pumping out (crappy) music. According to the WWW there's supposed to be a few indie bars around here too, but I gave up before I managed to locate those, so the neighborhood might be worth one more chance if I have the time.
For now though I would rather recommend Barrio Alto during dinnertime (around 7-10 pm) when the atmosphere is way more comfortable, and when there's less testosterone in the air.
The following night started with outdoor cinema at a cosy alley in the Alfama-district, one of the older parts of Lisbon. According to my guides for this night - the Italian painter Valerio and Sally who is a language teacher from England, there are tons of free events like this during the summer months. After the screening (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - ★★★), we continued to Laboratório a bar where beers are one euro each. The bar, that doubles as a space for art exhibitions and workshops, is located on the second floor of a residential building. It might be a bit tricky to find if you don't know what to look for, but it's worth a try as this is probably one of my favorite spots in Lisbon so far!